Timo Houben

Research Data Management

Department of Monitoring and Exploration Technologies
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany


Phone: +49 341 60 25 2303

Building 7.1, Office 211


Timo Houben

Research interests

  • AI, Data Science and High Performance Computing
  • Machine Learning for Environmental Applications
  • ML for Automated Quality Control
  • Xplainability of Neural Networks
  • Spectral Analysis of Environmental Signals
  • Numerical and Analytical Modelling
  • Groundwater Travel Time Analysis

Short CV

from March 2024

Data Scientist for AIAMO - Artificial Intelligence and Mobility

April 2023 - March 2024

AI Researcher at Helmholtz-AI Project RESEAD

July 2021 - March 2023

Researcher and Groundwater Modeller at the UFZ Project LandTrans Simulator, Group Groundwater (LandGH20)

July 2020 - June 2021

Researcher and Groundwater Modeller at the collaborative research center Aqua Diva, Projects Fluxes and Element Flows, B04: Modeling of water and biogeochemical dynamics

August 2017 - June 2020

Ph.D. Student in Groundwater Modeling, Computational Hydrosystems, Supervision: Sabine Attinger, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

April 2013 - Feb. 2016

Master of Science - Applied Geosciences
Engineering Geology, Hydrogeology and Geophysics
RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

Okt. 2009 - Feb. 2013

Bachelor of Science - Applied Geosciences
RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany


2023 (3)

2022 (1)

Before 2022

  • Klitzsch, N., Houben, T., Brunner, M., Kleinow, R., 2014: Geophysical prospection of siderite concretions in sediments – a feasibility study. Applied Geophysics and Geothermal Energy, E.ON Energy Research Center, RWTH Aachen University


  • Spectral analysis of groundwater level time series reveals hydrogeological parameters. Houben, T., Di-Dato, M., Siebert,  C., Kalbacher, T., Fischer, T., Attinger, S. EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna.
  • Spektralanalyse von Grundwasserganglinien zur Ermittlung von hydrogeologischen Parametern. Houben, T., March 2023, Digital Water Institute - Impuls.
  • Using machine learning to spatially estimate soil moisture in an agricultural field., Boog, J., Ebeling, P., Houben, T., Khurana, S., Schmid, J., Schmidt, L.. 5th Data Science Symposium 2021, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel, GEOMAR
  • From dynamic groundwater head measurements to regional aquifer parameters., Houben, T., Kalbacher, T., Pujades, E., Dietrich, P., Attinger, S.. December 2019. AGU Fall Meeting 2019. San Francisco. Presentation (9.8 MB)
  • When does model complexity pay off? A case study for groundwater modelling., Houben, T., de Rooij, G., Attinger, S., Kalbacher, T., Dietrich, P., October 2018. TERENO International Conference 2018. Berlin.


  • Using GNN for automated quality control of environmental sensor data, Elżbieta Lasota, Timo Houben, Julius Polz, Christian Chwala, Lennart Schmidt, David Schäfer, Jan Bumberger, UFZ ModMonDay 2023, Leipzig.
  • Modelling Groundwater Travel Time Distributions in the Hainich CZE. Timo Houben, Tino Rödiger, Sabine Attinger and Falk Hesse. 28th FH-DGGV Conference, March 2022, Jena. FH-DGGV_22_TTD
  • Estimating hydraulic response times of aquifers in southern Germany. Timo Houben, Mariaines Di Dato, Rohini Kumar, Sabine Attinger, iPoster AGU_21_SpA at AGU Fall Meeting 2021.
  • Machine learning based spatio-temporal interpolation of soil moisture in an agricultural catchment. Swamini Khurana, Timo Houben, Pia Ebeling, Julia Schmid, Lennart Schmidt, Mohit Anand, Johannes Boog, iPoster AGU_21_ML at AGU Fall Meeting 2021.
  • Inferring regional aquifer parameters by spectral analysis of groundwater head fluctuations - A feasibility study. Timo Houben, Estanislao Pujades, Mariaines Di Dato, Rohini Kumar, Sabine Attinger. iPoster AGU_20 at AGU Fall Meting 2020. Online Conference.
  • Regional aquifer parameters by spectral analysis of groundwater head fluctuations – a synthetic study. Houben, T., Kalbacher, T., Dietrich and S. Attinger. EGU General Assembly 2019. Vienna. EGU_19 (5.4 MB)


  • for Water Resources Research (WRR)

Internal Activities

  • Machine Learning Café. Chair: Timo Houben, Co-Chair: Lennart Schmidt, Swamini Khurana. You are new to machine learning and need an overview? Or you just want to talk about your challenges in your studies in an informal setting? Grab a coffee and visit us in Building 7.1, room 301 on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. Be up to date and have a look at our GitLab-Repo. Looking forward to study with you!
  • PhD-Team Data Science. Chair: Swamini Khurana, Co-Chair: Timo Houben. You are doing your PhD at UFZ and are interested in data science? Come and join us! Further info right here.
  • DocDays2018. Head of organization team, moderation and care during the event.


Geoecological Field Course, 2019, University of Potsdam

  • Hydrochemistry: Theory and regional setting of groundwater and surface water bodies in the vicinity of the research station in Gülpe, groundwater and surface water sampling, evaluation of chemical analysis of water samples
  • Climatology: Theory of terrain climatology with focus on the Havel meadow as well as measurement systems at the climate stations, manual measurement of climatic parameters, data visualization and analysis